Forgetfulness does not always indicate Alzheimer's disease

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Many people believe that forgetfulness is the first sign of Alzheimer's disease. (WLS)

Many people believe that forgetfulness is the first sign of Alzheimer's disease.

But the truth is, a decline in cognitive function is part of normal aging, especially for adults ages 50 to 65.

Mary Mehl's husband, Joe, was declining mentally and physically.

"It was terrible to watch him deteriorate before our eyes," Mehl said.

Joe was in his mid-sixties. Mary feared that she was losing him to Alzheimer's. But a trip to the doctor proved it to be something else. Joe had normal pressure hydrocephalus, or NPH, a completely reversible condition.

Joe is not the only one who fears that they are in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. Doctors say they are seeing a rise in patients worried about their memory lapses and fear that it is Alzheimer's. Most of the time it is not. But if it's not Alzheimer's, what is it?

"Many different disorders, um can cause balance problems and dementia-like illnesses," said Dr. Nestor Tomycz, neurosurgeon.

Some of the disorders can include NPH, adult ADD, sleep disorders, substance abuse and simply brain fog. If you are worried about memory loss, start with this.

"See your primary care doctor and to check some basic, basic labs and to investigate it that way. But, if the symptoms aren't improving, a neurologist should be involved," Tomycz said.

A recent study found that in autopsies of 116 patients who were diagnosed with Alzheimer's. More than 10 percent of them did not have Alzheimer's. Other conditions or diseases were causing their dementia-like symptoms.

If you would like more information, check out the medical breakthroughs on the web at

Related Topics:
healthmemory lossAlzheimer's Diseasehealth

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